The day has finally come. Your child is headed to college. As with any move the more organized you are from the beginning, the easier the transition for both you and your college-bound child. Here are our top parent tips for parent’s wondering where to start with their child’s college dorm move:
Other than the actual packing schedule the most important step in college dorm moves is to make sure that you and your child have closely read the dorm policies, procedures and schedules so you can plan on your end. Many dorms have check-in times and rules for moving day so make sure that you don’t show up unprepared. Read up on where the drop-off points are, where you can park a vehicle to unload and if there are elevators or how many stairs you are facing. Make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork on-hand the day of the move (registration forms, health records, identification or any other important documents). Remember that every school is different so even if this isn’t your first child that has left the proverbial nest make sure you know the school’s rules and policies.
In case you need a reminder from your school days college dorm rooms are ridiculously small and shared with at least one more person if not more. If your child’s belongings don’t fit into an SUV, mini-van or mid-size car then they are over-packing. Basic furniture is supplied at the dorms such as: bed, chair and desk but the rest is up to you to make fit in this small space.
Bedding (sheets, blankets, pillows) towels, toiletries, school supplies, computer and clothes sums up the ‘absolute necessities’.
Pack seasonally with clothes as you can always ship the winter items if/when they need them or they can grab some sweaters and coats when they come home for a visit. We recommend packing casual (jeans, tees, workout clothes and light pullovers) and adding in one or two dress outfits for special occasions such as Greek Week and Club/Organization Mixers.
After the necessities are out of the way move onto the items that your child may believe are ‘absolute necessities’ such as: small television, microwave, hot-plate and other electronics. Before you give into your college-bound child on allowing too many ‘extra items’ remember to double check the list of items that are not allowed in dorm rooms so you don’t pack unnecessary items.
When packing for a college dorm move try to pack items that go with other items. Keep clothes together; school supplies together, household items together etc…this will help keep you organized in the unpacking process but will also help you start planning for what types of organization systems you may need to assemble on the other end. If the dorm allows storage organization systems, once you evaluate all the items you have in your clothing boxes, you may decide that some shelves or shoe storage may help save you room in the closet. Hooks behind the door may be the perfect location for an ironing board and broom. Knowing what you are dealing with beforehand, rather than tossing everything in random boxes— will save you time, energy and sanity on moving day.
Bunk beds, adjusting beds, storage organization systems, hanging pictures and/or push-pin boards…there are more things you need tools for on moving day than you think. When you move your child into the college dorms make sure to have a tool kit on hand that has all the necessities such as: hammer, basic hardware, different screwdrivers, small drill, duct tape and tape measure. Make sure that this is tool box is not packed in the boxes and that it is the last thing on the moving truck and the first thing off the moving truck so you can get to work in assembling the room.
Don’t forget to pack mementos for your child. Although we don’t imagine they will be putting a picture of their mom and dad next to their bedside, making a push-pin board, memory board or creative crafts of friends, family and mementos will make them feel more at home during the transition.
Ideally it is nice to have everything packed up and ready to go in the family car or ready to be sent off with the movers. However if your child’s choice college is further than a drive down the road and you’ve opted for a DIY move, you can ship items to the dorm (make sure to check out the dorm’s policies beforehand), purchase items online and pick them up at a store nearby the dorms or you can plan for an extra day or two to allow time for shopping when you get there.
This is a big day. Your child is not under your roof anymore and soon they will be embarking on adulthood. You’ve done your job but that’s not to say that it’s going to be all smiles on moving day. Tears will come. If possible try to save the tears for after you say goodbye so your child won’t get emotional too. If this isn’t possible just be quick with the Kleenex. Nobody wants to be known as the kid whose parents wouldn’t stop crying on drop-off day.
For more moving tips, tricks, support and potential hand-holding on dorm-drop-off-day contact your Priority Moving Specialist.